Cougar Connect

Week of September 11, 2023

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A Message from Mrs. Leonardo

Dear Kennedy Community,

We have a lot going on at Kennedy! Things are busy around here, but we are incredibly thankful for all of your support. We had a great turn out at Back to School Night and another great turn out at my first Principal's Coffee.

Listed below are the updates for the week.

👂🏽Hearing Van

State Mandated Hearing Screening will take place on Friday, September 15th. All 8th, SLC and RLC students, and students from the other grades referred by their teachers will be screened.


Students will be given PowerSchool Parent Portal information sheets on Monday. If you do not have access to PowerSchool, please use the information on the sheet to help you create an account.

If you already have an account, and continue to get error messages, please follow the instructions on the handout linked below. One of the questions that will be displayed is whether the district is located in Canada. While RCSD is not in Canada, our PowerSchool server is located there. Please click yes.

Link to Instructions

If you continue to have issues accessing PowerSchool, please contact Maria Segundo in our Family Center. She can assist you. 650-482-2409 ext. 3471


Students will continue to complete their reading and math assessments in math and ELA classes.

🍎Back to School Night/High School Information Night

Thank you for attending Back to School Night. Here are links for your use:

Back to School Night Presentation

High School Information for 8th-Graders

High School Shadowing Information

Back to School Night Teacher Presentations

Principal's Coffee

We had a great turnout for my first Principal's Coffee! Thank you for your support. Here are the Google Slides from the coffee: Principal's Coffee Slides

The next Principal's Coffee will be on Thursday, October 5.

😁Picture Day September 18

Don't forget about Picture Day! Students will take their pictures during PE on Monday, September 18. We will use Jostens this year, and you will have the ability to preview and purchase pictures online. Picture Day reminders were sent home with your student on Friday.

🚲Bike Rack

I received feedback from several students about the need for another bike rack at Kennedy. We are happy that our students bike and ride their scooters to school. However, there is a lot of traffic at dismissal at the bike rack. I am working on figuring out where we can put a second bike rack. Stay tuned!

🫱🏼‍🫲🏽School Site Council Meeting/English Learner Advisory Committee Meeting

To nominate yourself for School Site Council, please fill out this form Once we have nominations, our school community will vote.

See you soon!

Mrs. Leonardo

Kennedy Family Center Updates

Our September Family Challenge is here! We want families to work together to organize and clean up a space in your home. Please take a picture of your family completing the challenge, and send a picture to the family center: Watch the podcast for more information!

September Podcast

Cynthia Cardona, Community School Coordinator

Maria Segundo, Admin Assistant

Kathryn Lige, Lead Mental Health Counselor

Contact the Kennedy Family Center by phone: (650) 482-2110

Zero Tolerance Policy

If you allow your student(s) to use and access social media, we advise you to please monitor what they are saying and doing. Students are engaging in negative behaviors on social media, and then we have to deal with these incidents at school.

We encourage students to notify teachers, staff members, or parents if they are running into any kind of problem. We want to support all students.

Kennedy Middle School should be a safe and welcoming space, so any cyber-bullying, name-calling, intimidation, or physical incidents will be dealt with as we have a zero-tolerance policy for this behavior.

Kennedy students are welcome to use the Incident Report Form to anonymously report any concerns. This link isn't available to non-RCSD individuals, but students can access it on Clever through their Chromebooks.

Some consequences for violating these policies include but are not limited to:

  • loss of brunch and lunch privileges and participation in academic lunch/detention
  • the requirement to complete campus beautification
  • restorative circle or conversations
  • in-school or out-of-school suspension
  • school and district-mandated safety plans
  • opportunity school

This year our Kennedy admin will be looking into outside support and mentorships to assist students with positive ways to deal with conflict. Ms. Williams, our assistant principal, has experience leading Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) initiatives, and she will take the lead on PBIS at Kennedy. Our lead mental health clinician, Kathryn Lige, is also working on Social-Emotional Learning lessons for all grade levels; we hope to have an update on this work by the end of September. We are also encouraging Kennedy teachers to embed social-emotional learning in their daily lessons.

Kennedy Middle School creates a safe and supportive, inspirational and rigorous, joyful and inclusive environment for all learners.

Thank you for your support.

Kennedy Sports Practices


Here are the practice times for volleyball this week:

  • 6th-grade volleyball players - practice after school on Monday & Tuesday
  • 7th-grade volleyball players - practice at 5:00 on Monday and Tuesday. There will be practice at 4:00 pm on Thursday. We will also practice after school on Wednesday at 3:30.
  • 8th-grade volleyball players - practice after school on Tuesday & Thursday

Flag Football

The flag football teams will meet Monday at 3:30 on the Kennedy field. Teams and future practices will be decided on Tuesday. We will then update families.

Sign-ups are now closed for volleyball and football. If you are on the waitlist, you will be notified once you are assigned to a team.

Meet the Woodside High School Principal Event Kennedy 7th & 8th Grade Parents.

Please join us for a casual and informative evening with Principal Karen van Putten, teachers, and new prospective parents. Karen will share an overview of the school's strong offerings as well as her vision and priorities for Woodside over the next few years, including programs and expanded course offerings. Kennedy graduates who are currently Woodside upperclassmen will be in attendance to give the student perspective.

October 16th at 7 pm

Parents of 7th and 8th Graders

Host: Angie and David Tinson

Address: 1242 Edgewood Road, Redwood City, CA 94062

Link: Kennedy Event

High School Event Updates

Please check the High School Shadow Programs & Informational Event Links document.

  • TIDE and Woodside posted their shadowing request links.
  • Carlmont posted links for campus tours and the Chat with a Carlmont Student event.
  • Sequoia will open the shadowing request link on 9/13/23.
  • Menlo-Atherton will open the shadowing request link within the next ten days.

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The Addams Family Musical Info

If you missed the informational session on August 31, here is the information you need.

Google Slides

Sign-Up Form

Recorded Zoom Call

Auditions for “The Addams Family”, Kennedy’s Spring Musical were held on Thursday, September 7th after school from 12:30pm-2:30pm. We will hold another audition on Thursday, September 14th after school from 2:30 pm-6:00 pm in room 417.

All students are welcome. Anyone can audition!


Chromebooks were distributed to students last week. We are working to make sure any issues with the hardware are fixed. We will give students loaner Chromebooks while we await repairs.

Please remember to remind your student to charge their Chromebook every night and bring their Chromebook to school every day.

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Student & Family Handbook

In order to make our handbook for students and families more accessible, we have digitized it. Please know that the information in the handbook will be continually updated to ensure families are informed. Students will receive planners during the second week of school, and included in the planner is the student handbook.

Click to view and save the Kennedy Student & Family Handbook.

Los Ayudantes Tutors Needed to Volunteer in the Classroom

Are you looking for an easy volunteer opportunity that makes a real difference? Then why not consider being a Los Ayudantes (The Helpers) tutor, and make a difference in the lives of English Learner students at Kennedy? At the direction of the teachers, you will work one-on-one with students helping them read articles, books, and other texts. You’ll also help the students think deeply about the subject matter making personal connections to the text. Most rewardingly, however, you can become an important, trusted adult and mentor in the students' lives when you make this commitment to tutor them throughout the remainder of the school year. You can volunteer once a week or more! Training is provided and you can also shadow one of our volunteers before you decide to volunteer. For more information and to volunteer, visit our website,

SEPTAR Meeting

Join SEPTAR's first meeting of the school year to meet the Special Education Department, led by Dr. Maeve Mulholland! We will meet on Zoom at 7 pm on Tuesday, September 19. To register, go to

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PTO Corner

Hello, Kennedy Community!

First PTO Meeting a Success

Thank you to those who joined us last week for our first PTO meeting of the year. You can also catch up on the meeting highlights here: August 29th 2023 Kennedy PTO - Minutes

Remember that ALL PARENTS are automatically members of the PTO. Your voice matters and we’d love to see you at our next meeting on Tuesday, September 26, from 7:00-8:00 pm via Zoom (link forthcoming).

Join our PTO Leadership Team!

There are still some key PTO roles we are looking to fill. They are:

  • 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade-Level Community Leaders - Work with PTO to communicate needs and ideas for each grade level. Ensure parents know what’s happening in each grade.

  • Fundraising/Grant Writing Help - Help with KMS PTO fundraising through grant writing and procuring corporate donor partnerships.

  • Parent Volunteer Coordinator - Create sign-up forms and help recruit and coordinate volunteers for PTO and school events.

  • Safe Routes To School Coordinator - Work with PTO to encourage students to bike and walk to school. Help kids with traffic safety skills and work to reduce traffic congestion.

  • Spirit Wear Lead - Manage spirit wear webpage and work with the vendor on designs. Help promote sales with the PTO communications team.

  • STEAM Liaison - Work with KMS STEAM Program lead teacher to support the program. Coordinating family volunteers for program activities as needed.

  • Student Activities Coordinator - Help plan two school dances
    (October & March); organize DJ, food and decorations, and recruit volunteers.

  • Student Store Coordinator - Work with KMS administrators to procure, organize, and distribute Student Store items.

Direct Drive Campaign Needs Your Support!

The Direct Drive fundraising effort supports academics, student activities, staff appreciation events, and our elective programs. SPOTLIGHT→Art, Drama, Music and STEAM programs are unique to our middle school and help kids thrive. Our students love these enriching electives, so let’s keep supporting these programs! We are asking $200 per family, but please consider donating any amount that fits your personal financial situation. Whether it's $25, $50, $100, or $1,000, every dollar helps us reach our fundraising goal and our students are worth our investment.

To support KMS, DONATE at the link below:

Represent Kennedy in Style

KMS Spirit Wear is on sale now. Order online at the link below.

Follow the KMS PTO on Instagram and Facebook, @KennedyCougarsPTO.

Check out for more info.

Feel free to email with questions or concerns, ideas, and feedback:

Kind regards,

Jess Bryski

PTO President


PTO Calendar

The Kennedy school calendar is now on the PTO website and has been updated with school events and activities for the year! You can add it to your personal calendar by going to and clicking the +Google Calendar button on the bottom right of the calendar.
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Kennedy's Amazon Wishlist

We are incredibly grateful for your support! Thank you!

Thank you, Julia Feng, for the glue sticks and Crayola marker set!

Thank you, Christina Keegan, for the pink eraser pack!

Thank you to the Yarter Family for the pencils, glue sticks, and Post-Its.

Kennedy's Amazon Wishlist

Upcoming Events

  • i-Ready Assessment Window Opens Sept. 5 - 19
  • Picture Day Sept 18 (during PE) 8:30 am-3:15 pm
  • Kennedy Food Distribution Sept. 19, Kennedy Gym 9:00-10:30 am
  • PTO Meeting Sept 26 Zoom 7:00-8:30 pm

  • Site Council & ELAC Sept 27 Library 5:00-6:00 pm

Click here to view the most up-to-date version of the Kennedy Calendar of Events.

Kennedy Middle School

With a commitment to excellence, Kennedy Middle School engages, encourages, and empowers students in challenging and creative learning opportunities while preparing them for their futures in high school and beyond.